Last updated on: 4/23/2009 | Author:

Jeane W. Anastas, PhD, MSW Biography

Professor of Social Work at New York University Silver School of Social Work
Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Is Sexual Orientation Determined at Birth?"

“Gender and sexuality, and hence sexual orientation, are currently understood by scholars in two profoundly different ways. On one side of the contemporary debate are those who argue that such phenomena as gender, sexuality, and sexual orientation are ‘based in deep-seated biological or psychological influences…’ In contrast, others argue ‘that sexual orientation is a creation of Western culture that can be traced back to the nineteenth century, when the terminology and supportive ideology of homosexuality as a pathology emerged…’

The emergent view of sexual orientation – of gay, lesbian, and bisexual identity – in fact draws upon understandings contributed by scholars from both points of view to develop a picture of sexual orientation that emphasizes ‘the perspective that human lives are shaped by the interaction of both of these factors,’ that is, by biology and society. Conversely, no line of research – to date – neither the biological nor the social/psychological – has adequately explained sexual orientation…

[T]here is currently no single ‘truth’ that experts agree on about sexual orientation and its origins.”

Cowritten with George A. Appleby, Not Just a Passing Phase: Social Work with Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual People, 1998

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Registered Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW), New York State, 2007-present
  • Research Consultant, Children’s Home Society, 2006-present
  • Member, International Advisory Committee to the Masters Program, School of Social Work, New York University, 2005-present
  • Professor, Silver School of Social Work, New York University, 1999-present
  • PhD Program Director, School of Social Work, New York University, 2002-2006
  • Visiting Professor, The Institute for Human Relations, New Bulgarian University (Sofia, Bulgaria), 2002, 2003, and 2005
  • Associate Academic Dean, School of Social Work, New York University, 1999-2002
  • Research Consultant, Committee to End Elder Homelessness, 1999-2000
  • Co-Director, Doctoral Program, Smith College School for Social Work, 1994-1999
  • Research Consultant, Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, 1987-1991
  • Assistant Professor of Social Work, School of Social Work, Simmons College, 1980-1983
  • Senior Lecturer in Sociology (Statistical Methods), Metropolitan College, Boston University, 1980-1983
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor (Research Methods), School of Social Work, Boston University, 1978-1980
  • PhD, Social Welfare Policy, Florence Heller Graduate School for Advanced Studies in Social Welfare, Brandeis University, 1982
  • MSW (Master of Social Work), Research, Boston College Graduate School of Social Work, 1978
  • BLS (Bachelor of Library Science), Social Work, Metropolitan College, Boston University, 1976
  • None Found
Quoted in:
  1. Is Same-Sex Attraction a Passing Phase Some Young People Go Through?